Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff, warned Republicans on Monday that there is still a COVID-19 “testing problem” in the country.
“I know it isn’t popular to talk about in some Republican circles, but we still have a testing problem in this country. My son was tested recently; we had to wait 5 to 7 days for results. My daughter wanted to get tested before visiting her grandparents, but was told she didn’t qualify,” Mulvaney wrote in a CNBC op-ed. “That is simply inexcusable at this point in the pandemic.”
Earlier this year, however, Mulvaney appeared to downplay the risks of the virus by comparing it to the flu and accusing the media of extensively covering the spread of the virus to “bring down” President Donald Trump at a conservative event in February.
But in his Monday op-ed, Mulvaney urged Congress to focus on “dealing” with the pandemic by directing money toward research, temporary hospital beds and therapeutics. He also said lawmakers need to “focus” on solving the problems of the pandemic, rather than focusing on the election.
“Put another way, the fact that people aren’t going on vacation probably has more to do with fear of getting sick than it does with their economic condition. Giving people a check, or some financial incentive to travel, won’t solve their problem. Make people feel safe to go back on an airplane or cruise ship, and they will of their own accord,” Mulvaney wrote. “Elections, despite what too many politicians think, cannot be bought. But problems can be solved. As lawmakers consider the next stimulus, let’s hope they focus on the latter.”
According to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center, there are over 3.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 135,000 deaths in the United States.